TRADITIONS IN OXFORDSHIRE
Oxfordshire Traditions Oxfordshire is a historical county with many unusual traditions. Plan your visit at the right time of year and you might just experience one of the county’s weird and wonderful customs.
Pooh Stick Championships
May Morning in Oxford is a huge celebration. Held on the 1st of May each year, celebrations begin at 6am with the Magdalen College Choir singing from the top of Magdalen Tower - a tradition that has been taking place for over 500 years. Huge crowds gather under the tower to watch the performance which is followed by festivities throughout the morning including Morris dancing.
Once a year Oxfordshire hosts the World Pooh Sticks Championships. Taking inspiration from the beloved children’s book, Winnie the Pooh, anybody can take part to become the Pooh Sticks world championship. You just need to pick your stick, and drop it upstream on one side of a bridge and whoever’s stick appears on the other side of the bridge is the winner!
Bun Throwing Bun Throwing is a 400 year-old tradition unique to the town of Abingdonon-Thames in South Oxfordshire. The unusual tradition involves local dignitaries throwing buns from the roof of the Abingdon County Hall Museum for huge crowds to catch on days of celebration! Recent events that have been commemorated by throwing buns include the Royal Wedding, the Millennium and Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. Merton College Time Ceremony
Once a year, on the night the clocks go back, students at Merton College in Oxford partake in their annual Time Ceremony. Created by undergraduate students in 1971, it involves students dressing in their full academic dress walking backwards around the Fellows’ Quad drinking port at 02:00BST for an hour, before finishing at 02:00GMT, to allegedly maintain the space-time continuum!
Aunt Sally Aunt Sally is a traditional English pub game dating back to the 17th Century. It is still played today, and can be seen in many Oxfordshire pub gardens, and involves players throwing sticks or battens at a target. The very best players now compete in the Aunt Sally Singles World Championship with the first competition taking place in Charlbury, West Oxfordshire, in 2011. Beating The Bounds Involves a group of parishioners marking their parish boundaries by hitting boundary marker stones with willow sticks, shouting “Mark, Mark, Mark”. The tradition dates back at least to Anglo-Saxon times and originates from a time when it was important to make parish boundaries physically evident in the absence of maps and written deeds. Beating the Bounds
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